Check out all the great courses available to Union Scholars.
HONS 135 Fine Arts for Honors
Great works of art, architecture, drama and music are explored with a focus on the major elements, themes, and works and their significance in the context of their historical place in time. Field trip participation is essential. Team taught in the fall semester.
HONS 225 Reading Philosophers
Explores significant philosophical and aesthetic issues in Western civilization through reading works by major figures from classical times through the Enlightenment. Considers artistic creations from all eras. Requires disciplined reflection in discussion and writing. Involves individual and team presentations as well as small and large group discussions. Field trips and cultural events enrich the classwork. Fall semester, even years.
HONS 260 Romans in Context
An intensive study of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans within its sociocultural context that includes interpretation by the initial readers, and theological interpretation of Romans in relation to the contemporary world. Students make presentations and write research papers on issues related to the Pauline Epistles and Romans. Spring semester.
HONS 271 Civic Virtue, Politics & Christian Values
What are Christian responses to a country and world torn by conflicts between the ideas of conservatism, liberalism (in the American sense), religious extremism and populism? This seminar investigates the core ideas of each of these groups, the conflicts between them, and the variety of Christian responses. Spring semester, even years.
HONS 275 Theism, Modernity, and Post-Modernism
The ideas and thinkers that transformed Western society since the Renaissance and Reformation, culminating in
today’s post-modernism. Involves reading, discussion, and short papers. Fall semester, odd years
HONS 289 Initial Disciplinary Research
This registration provides the opportunity to develop honors-quality research on a topic within a given major’s course, which will be supervised by a faculty member. Students are expected to gain experience in selecting an appropriate research topic, discovering appropriate sources and methods, and demonstrating use of the discipline’s conventions. A medium-length paper required. Scheduled as needed.
HONS 325 Science and Religion (WR)
Prerequisite: Junior standing
Explores the nature of scientific inquiry, the history of scientific thought around the globe, and the relationship between science and religion in various cultures. Spring semester.
HONS 345 The Global Environment
Explores issues related to the ecology of the globe from the viewpoint of the disciplines of biology, environmental science and religion. It explores the causes of, results of, and possible solutions to the environmental impact of human beings. Fall semester..
HONS 370 Living as a Christian Professional
Intended for individuals who desire to live a moral life, in this course students will study and discuss the challenges and opportunities that Christian professionals face in their daily lives, primarily within the working environment. It includes an analysis of each individual’s values and traits, and will be guided by a Christian professional. The field of emphasis may change from year to year (e.g., business, health, education, or other field). Fall semester.
HONS 389 Disciplinary Research
Prerequisite: ENGL 212 and Junior standing or permission of Honors director
This registration provides supervised research at a more advanced level than HONS 289, including a more extended literature review and more extensive research. May be repeated. Scheduled as needed.
HONS 391 Personal Achievement Project
Prerequisite: Permission of the Honors director
An optional registration for Scholars who wish to earn academic credit for their personal projects. Requirements are available at the Honors office. Scheduled as needed.
HONS 395 Honors International Study Tour
Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission of instructor
Scholars travel with their peers to international locations chosen for their importance in developing a crosscultural perspective and understanding of particular societies’ cultures and values. Selected topics from artistic, historical, literary, socio-economic, political or other elements perspectives will be emphasized. Regular tuition plus supplemental charges. Summer, even years.
HONS 398 Research Methods
Essential elements of research methods, primarily in the social sciences, and preparation of the Honors thesis proposal. Expectations for the thesis project are addressed, including the choice of a topic, refining the proposal, the role of literature review, formal public speaking presentation software, and evaluation. The letter grade assigned reflects the presentation of the project to the Honors Program Advisory Committee. May be replaced by equivalent disciplinary courses. Fall semester.
HONS 498 Honors Thesis
Students conduct independent research, produce a creative project, or solve a problem typically within their major field under the primary supervision of a professor in that discipline and with the additional support of two advisors. The thesis culminates in a public presentation, and the research paper is filed in the Honors Program and in the Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library. May be replaced by designated disciplinary courses. May be
repeated for additional credit. Fall/spring semesters.
HONS 499 Capstone
Prerequisite: HONS 498 or equivalent
The final Honors registration recognizes the scholar’s accomplishments in both scholarship and the personal project. It includes submission of an approved project report, the thesis abstract, and the completed thesis. It culminates when the scholar displays the research at the poster session and communicates the findings at the formal research presentation. Fall/spring semesters, as needed.
Creating a thesis will help you prepare for graduate school.
Each Union Scholar will complete either an Honors Thesis or a comparable research project in their major, usually in their senior year. The Honors Thesis provides the opportunity for a student to define and carry through a research or creative project appropriate to the conclusion of an Honors undergraduate program. The Thesis gives students an opportunity to strengthen their analytical abilities, their research techniques, and their writing skills. By working closely with several faculty members and by exploring a research project or creative idea in some depth, students will gain an advanced experience in their discipline.
Components of Honors Research Requirement
Research methods: This introduces scholars to the more advanced independent work necessary to complete an Honors Thesis, and to get them started on that work, all Union Scholars, except for those with research methods classes in their own discipline are expected to take the 1-credit Research Methods.
Honors Thesis: Scholars are required to conduct research appropriate to her/his field of study and write a paper about the research results. The scope and structure of research project and length of written thesis will vary by discipline.
Poster Presentation: The purpose of a poster exhibit is to convey to a wide audience a research project's significance to scholars in the field and its potential significance to the general public. Exhibits will be graded on content, display format and poster quality.
Oral Research Presentation: This includes a twenty minute presentation of Honors thesis to the Honors advisors, Honors directors and Honors peers and invited guests. This presentation should guide the audience through the contents of the scholar’s work; clearly indicating the research objectives, methods, results and conclusions and future developments that could follow this research.
Make your research accessible to everyone.
Poster criteriaThe purpose of a poster exhibit is to convey to a wide audience a research project's significance to scholars in the field and its potential significance to the general public. Exhibits will be graded on their quality in three areas:
The exhibit must include:
- Thesis title and author's name
- A current Union College logo. Download logos here
- Reference to the "Union College honors program." (note capitalizations)
- Proof of regulatory committee approval (if the project involves human or animal subjects or biohazardous materials)
- Research problem statement or objective of the project
- Hypothesis or research questions
- A description of the sample
- Methodology of the study
- Major conclusions
- Directions for future research
- The core of each exhibit is a poster with text and graphics intended for a more general audience.
- Poster will measure 30" x 40" and will be mounted on foam core.
- When poster printing instructions are followed, printing costs up to $50 will be reimbursed to the student in exchange for the poster. Poster printing instructions may be obtained here. Please confirm with the Honors Center that the instructions are current.
- Easels to display posters will be provided.
- Poster should attract attention and convey important information about the project.
- Language should be simple and descriptions brief. Jargon should be avoided; necessary technical terms should be defined.
- Spelling and grammar must be correct.
- Photographs, drawings, charts, tables, or graphs should be simple, well organized, and carefully chosen to quickly explain complicated technical concepts to a wide audience.
- All text should be large enough to be read from a distance of 4 to 6 feet away.
Diagrams, graphs and tables can be used effectively to present certain aspects of the study, such as the findings. Pictures may also be used for interest. It is better not to place too much material on a poster to avoid it looking cluttered.
The major titles/subtitles should be in large letters, at least 1 inch high. Typed material should be prepared with large letters.
First and foremost, a good poster must be clear, concise, important, relevant and eye-catching.
- The "bottom line" should be unambiguous. The title and the conclusion should say something such as "Chemical A kills people at three times the normal dosage," as opposed to "The effects of chemical A on human subjects."
- The title should accurately reflect the content. For example, posters should not be titled "the effects of ," when in fact the poster deals with the "Lack of effects"
- Have no more than three major conclusions. The fewer the better.
- Leave out extraneous information. Lengthy details on "methods and materials" can be obtained later from the authors, if needed.
- A poster may be the most important scientific work in a decade, but if the presentation is not concise, the judges can not evaluate it properly.
- The most common mistake is to present too much information, too much data, and too many words. A poster is not a written scientific article. A judge, or a fellow scientist, does not have an hour or two to read a lengthy dissertation.
- The message should be delivered in large type. Use pictures, bullets, arrows and other devices to deliver the message easily.
- Give a short, very clear statement of the importance of your work
- This is the first time that this "effect" has been seen
- This method is ten times faster than the previous method
- This "effect" shows that consumers are in danger of...
- This method uses far fewer test animals than...
- Don't belabor the relevance, but do show it.
- If appropriate, show usefulness to industry submissions, to field testing, to standards development, etc.
- Relevance and importance are closely related, so don't "beat your brains out" trying to decide the difference between the two criteria.
- Posters don't have to be hi-tech. A simple, clean, attractive poster can accomplish the same mission of getting someone's attention.
- The most important "eye catcher" is the title. If you can get your "bottom line" across in the title, you've captured the attention of your audience.
- The second most important "eye catcher" is the conclusion.
- If I've read the title and the conclusion and I'm still lost, then your poster is in serious trouble.